March 13th, 2013 by Amy Kautzman
QUESTION: I like to see vending machines in the shields 24 Hour Reading Room entrance with energy shots and energy bars for the late night studiers. This will help avoid trips to the convenient stores.
ANSWER: Great idea. It turns out that we are already in discussion with ASUCD about this sort of service.
As with many actions at UCD, there are many groups to work through. The Library is having discussions and will (hopefully) be able to meet our student’s needs.
March 8th, 2013 by Amy Kautzman
QUESTION: Would you please install doors for the group study rooms on 3rd and fourth floors around the elevators? There are very noisy, especially it is quiet around these rooms.
ANSWER: Thank you for taking the time to write to us. I really appreciate hearing about what needs to be improved in the Library.
The space you are referring to is a makeshift study space, it used to be our old copier room. Legally I can’t put doors on that space. I have two solutions, neither perfect but moving towards a better world.
1) If you are disturbed by the noise, always feel free to call down to the circulation desk and ask to have a security guard sent up to ask the students to be quieter. The number is 752-8792.
2) At this very moment I am working on a plan to re-order furniture in the Library and to designate floors by activities; ex: 1st floor would be group oriented and the 3rd and 4th floors would be silent. I’m working on student notification and an action plan with the expectation all movement will be accomplished by fall 2013.
None will solve the immediate problem of students being impolite, but we’re working to make it easier for people to self-regulate. Currently we have a mix of quiet and group spaces which means neither group is totally comfortable.
In the meanwhile, if you want a quiet carrel, I’d suggest that you move to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th floors on the far south side of the building. We have rows of cubicles beyond the stacks that are deathly quiet. Hopefully this will work for you.
February 15th, 2013 by Amy Kautzman
QUESTION: What aren’t there more electrical outlets throughout the Shields Library?
ANSWER: The boring answer is that Shields is an old building and when it was built we didn’t carry computers and cell phones everywhere. Therefore there was no need for the number of outlets we now want.
The story behind that answer is the fact that the Library and ASUCD have partnered to provide more outlets. Last year we added power strips to the desks in the 24/7 Reading Room. Two summers ago we added more outlets to the 2nd floor Reading Room tables. Many years back we added power to hundreds of the individual cubicles. It. Still. Isn’t. Enough.
So, as we look into our future and consider what you need and how the building needs to meet those needs — we will be looking into providing more power. There is no immediate funding for more power in the next year. But providing more power is a priority and we hear you. Seriously, we do.
February 12th, 2013 by Amy Kautzman
QUESTION: Can you re-open the staircase connecting the Main Reading Room to the 24 hour reading room. It would be safer for students studying when the library closes and an overall convenience for everyone.
ANSWER: We have explored the option of opening up that stairwell during evening hours. It would allow more students to have access to library space after hours, and honestly — the Reading Room is MUCH better looking and more comfortable.
This idea is not off the table, but it does require more $$ to manage the space and keep the library and our students secure. This year we are examining a number of ways in which we can better support undergrad’s space needs. We have a Student Library Advisory Committee and are meeting regularly with the ASUCD. Between these two groups, suggestions from users, and our year-long study of library space we hope to radically improve student space in the library.
I hope you’re not graduating this year because you may see some really great changes in the future. Of course, and I hate this part, it does take time and we do need to raise funds. But I think our ideas are entirely doable.
January 22nd, 2013 by Amy Kautzman
QUESTION: When I log into the library site from a library computer, I am asked for my Kerberos password. Why then am I later asked for my library card number, since the system already knows who I am? I don’t have this number committed to memory, and it is an extra headache to dig it out and type it in. You already know who I am, and so you already know my library ID number.
ANSWER: Thank you for writing in about your frustration with library computer sign-in. I know it is a bit crazy-making, having to sign in twice, with two different account log-ins. Unfortunately, there are reasons for this that we can’t easily resolve.
The Kerberos sign-in serves as proof that you are who you claim to be. This sign in, when used off-campus, allows you access to databases and other UCD-only materials. Within the library it allows you access to a larger number of computers as well as the ability to use your thumb drive.
You are asked for your library account number when you try to renew a book, use ILL, or any other account specific features within the Harvest or Melvyl catalogs. We are exploring the possibility of using your Kerberos ID as your log-in for these features, but thus far we have not able to get the campus system to work seamlessly with with library system.
In closing, again a great question and one that we’ve been actively trying to resolve. We hope to eventually make this particular library experience much better.
November 19th, 2012 by Amy Kautzman
QUESTION: I think that Shields Library should add a feature when putting a book on hold in the Reserves section: The form should include a place for a phone number so if a person wants to leave the premise while waiting on his/her book s/he can. Once the book comes back, the Reserves staff can call the student and let her know the book is available.
ANSWER: I like this idea and we’ve been trying to do “something” like it and are not yet there.
We’ve been exploring using SMS to send text messages when a Reserves book is ready. That way, if the book comes back early you can be notified via your phone. Currently we give out buzzers like those at the Cheesecake Factory and other suburban/mall foodertainment locals.
Unfortunately the SMS service will NOT work with Reserves. We’ve tried. We discussed phone calls but that is problematic. We already have crazy, busy lines. How would you feel if you had to wait longer while our students called other students? Also, many of us have cell phones that are not Davis-centric which means a long distance charge for every card. ChaChing$$$
Good news, we are experimenting with SMS for circulation and hope to roll this service out soon. You’ll get recall notices, book due notices, etc for regular circ items. Sadly, Reserves is special and is just out of reach!
But, I love that you brought this idea forward. Thanks.
October 30th, 2012 by Amy Kautzman
QUESTION: I wrote a comment about a year ago about the intollerable amount of noise in Shields Library. As a 3rd year PhD student, it is unacceptable to not have a quiet place to study in this building. Please let me know what you have done to address this issue in the past year; I recommend creating a designated Graduate Reading Room (ID required) here at Shields like they do at UCB.
ANSWER: Geeze! I agree. Shields undergrads can be loud and social and not always polite when it comes to sharing study space. We get this complaint quite a bit and while I usually don’t repeat questions — this is worth discussing.
We have put our guards on notice that noise is to be addressed, especially in our quiet spaces. I have had signs placed throughout our quiet areas and we have developed a plan for re-arranging furniture so that large tables are not in the vicinity of study carrels. Honestly, who thought it was a good idea to mix them?
Reality check — some students (not many) are rude and we don’t have enough staff to move tables throughout Shields, a huge building. But we have a plan.
Additionally — we put out a survey to our grad students asking specifically what works and what needs improvement. We want/need your feedback. If we can get enough positive feedback we may be able to designate spaces more tightly.
On another tact, we are partnering with the Graduate Student Association (GSA) on library improvements. I’d like to encourage you to also communicate with them so that they understand this is an ongoing issue. They are working with us to improve the library and if they know about your complaints they’ll be able to help carry them forward.
Your complaint is a serious one and I am thankful you raised it again.
October 30th, 2012 by Amy Kautzman
QUESTION: Could the chairs be fitted with non-squeaky pad, wheels or other materials to help avoid noise. (over time, no hurry) Thank you.
ANSWER: Great idea. We are in the midst of gathering lots of feedback from all of our users. In fact, if you received a survey email from us I hope you filled it out!
We have heard this same suggestion in the past and I am hoping we can act on it in the next 6 months (pls don’t hold me to that date). It is a wildly huge project, considering the number of chairs we have in Shields alone. But it is a project worth considering and it will be considered. Thanks for sharing it.
October 30th, 2012 by Amy Kautzman
QUESTION: How about some proper maintenance of your copy machines? You charge more than commercial copy centers but the copies are CRAP!!
ANSWER: First of all, I’m really sorry that you are this frustrated and I hope that you went to one of our desks to get a resolution to your problems. When possible, always come to us before you get to the point of total frustration (which is easy to reach when papers are due and classes are crazy and one more thing just breaks your last nerve).
The Copy/Print/Scan machines work pretty okay, which is not the same as super fabulous. They can be complicated and (you’re right) are not as cheap as other places. We have put up all sorts of information to assist you and have the best price possible. Our machines are provided by Reprographics, a campus service that does not make much, if any, money off of your copies being that people don’t copy or print like they used to. Therefore the copy prices can’t go down.
What I would like to ask you — and all other users — is this: when you have issues with a particular machine let us know. But we need details! So, either go to a library service desk or write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the machine number and your problem. Also include your personal information or copy card number so you can be reimbursed when this is called for.
We try (seriously) to make this service work. Some parts of life are not fun; microfilm, copiers, taxes — but they are sometimes necessary. Help us help you!
October 3rd, 2012 by Amy Kautzman
QUESTION: You’re so complicated!!
ANSWER: I’m going to act on the premise that the author of this note, found in our Suggestion Box, is referring to the Library and not to me.
I’m sorry that many students feel that libraries are complicated but the reality is that some important skills in life take time to learn and master. The ability to do deep research and apply critical thinking skills is something we expect all of you to learn while you’re here.
The good news is that we are here to help you. We have lots of ways for you to come in (physically or virtually). We exist for one reason — to ensure our students, faculty, and staff can access the resources they need in order to succeed.
Check us out: http://lib.ucdavis.edu/ul/help/
Also, if you can think of a way to make the library more welcoming, send us a suggestion. We are listening.